Krueger feeling pretty comfortable right now!

Southampton chairman Ralph Krueger believes the Gao family are the “right thing at the right time”. The club as stayed with their business model since League One. The passing of the club saviour Markus Liebherr hasn’t changed that and it has suitably passed onto the diligent hands of his daughter Katharina.

Ralph Krueger stated on the announcement of the partnership with the Gao family:

“First and foremost, (the ambition is) to continue on the path we’re on – of developing this club into a consistently successful team in the Premier League after four years in the top eight,

“paint’s still wet”

“That next level of growth is a tough one. We all know what the barriers are ahead of us, but we believe we have the potential of finding a way back into Europe.

“It’s never easy in the Premier League but it remains that which we strive for. We are patient.

“They would like us to maintain the football model that we have going right now.

“I would say the growth will be more in and around the club. We’re looking at different investment opportunities that will touch the academy, our stadium and so on.

“We will get more specific into the fall on what these projects will be, but we’re not looking at any change as far as our football model is concerned.

“We like the way we built the club, we like the way we’ve built the depth in the roster.

“We’re feeling really optimistic and very comfortable right now.”

“We like the consolidation plans that we have this summer. They are working out for us and they’re not completely done.

“Only one player, Jay Rodriguez, has gone out and two have come in, with (Jan) Bednarek and (Mario) Lemina, and I think that shows a different kind of Southampton evolving here and how much we treasure continuity.

“We like where we’re at so we don’t need a big change of course.

“With Mauricio Pellegrino, we made a critical change in the summer for us. We decided to go another direction of leadership and they like that course.

“I don’t have a big list right now other than that we have a very intelligent, experienced and passionate family coming into the equation who also have shown a competitiveness and a love for sport in the conversations that we’ve had.”

Krueger expects “continued growth in the global community” eventually under the Gao family, but for now the “paint’s still wet”.

The Saints chairman says there will not be any huge cash injection on the transfer front, with the expectation that the Gao family will take a similar approach to the understated Liebherr.

The family confirmed in phone calls on Tuesday and Wednesday that Saints should stick with their plans – including keeping hold of wantaway defender Virgil van Dijk – with the only changes coming to the ownership board.

“The partnership just seems to be the right thing at the right time for the club, with the right people, the family Gao,” the Saints chairman said.

“right thing at the right time”

“We’re feeling really optimistic and very comfortable right now.”

As for Katharina Liebherr, she retains a 20 per cent stake in a club she has grown to love.

“If you’d have been a part of the process, she was searching for somebody who really embraced what is happening here, the way club is run, the culture and everything,” Krueger said.

“So for her to stay on board is excellent on both fronts.

“One is for Katharina, who just wants to be a part of it because she’s having fun and she loves it, and she loves the club, the people and the fans.

“And other thing is it’s good to keep in her because of her family is so humble and she’s so humble, and they have strong instincts.”